Short & Sweet Sundays: Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes

Published July 22, 2012 by Chick-Lit Cafe

In honor of Sunday – a day I reserve for reading and lollygagging – I bring you a short and sweet book review! 

The gist: Amanda Blick leads a charmed life. She’s got a gorgeous French chef husband, a perfect little house in a high-class neighborhood, and a cute little rosy- cheeked boy.  But underneath the glossy surface, trouble is a’ brewing. Her husband seems to be working more late nights at the restaurant, and the female kitchen help can’t seem to look her in the eyes. Hmm….something smells fishy around here and I don’t’ think it’s the catch of the day!

It all comes to a head when she finds her husband and his sous chef in a rather…shall we say compromising position in the kitchen. Rather than sticking around to let him weasel his way back into her heart, she takes her rich mom up on her offer to spend the summer at the deliciously decadent St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort.

Distraught over her husband’s betrayal, not even the plentiful umbrella drinks and cute cabana boys can put her mind at ease. That is until she bumps into Edward Jonas, a restaurateur with kind eyes and a sexy smile. Although her instincts tell her to steer clear of handsome culinary artists, there’s something about this low key silver fox that sets her heart aflutter! Is it wise to take a chance on another man before signing the divorce papers? Why does she still lust after her philandering husband? And most importantly – why must she continue to put her life on hold in the name of love?  

Why I chose this book: It’s summertime, so what could be better than soaking up the rays on my hot-pink beach towel with a romantic beach read?  I really enjoyed living vicariously in the St. Regis presidential suite, drinking the fruity cocktails, digging my toes in the soft sand, and riding along the Pacific Coast Highway in a sweet Bentley!

What I liked most: The ending. I was preparing myself for a predictable conclusion, but the author threw a major curve ball. Amanda’s got another big journey ahead of her – and I’m hoping there’s going to be a sequel!

Why it’s unique:  Come to think of it, most of the books I read don’t involve obscenely rich protagonists. Mostly, they’re career girls, struggling journalists and amateur sleuths.  So this book was kind of a departure from the norm.  Some may say that it’s too vapid and decadent, but I say lighten up people!  I enjoyed reading about Amanda’s fairytale life with two glamorous parents in a posh San Francisco mansion. I certainly am not a “lifestyle of the rich and famous” kind of girl, but I do think it’s amusing to read about that world.  

What irked me: I needed more action. It seemed that fine dining and cocktail hours dominated Amanda’s summertime activities. Don’t get me wrong, I love reading about cozy restaurant scenes, but she needed to get out and have some fun! I want to immerse myself in the icy Pacific Ocean, ride with the dolphins, and zip over the waves in a jet ski! It’s a fabulous beach resort, so why not take advantage of all the amenities?  

This book is best paired with: A Bob Marley playlist, a pina colada and a comfy deck chair.

Would I read another book by this author? Most definitely! She certainly has a knack for character development and sharp dialogue.

If you like this book, you’ll also enjoy titles by: Jane Green, Kristin Hannah, Susan Mallory and Beatriz Williams.

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2 comments on “Short & Sweet Sundays: Monarch Beach by Anita Hughes

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